Preparing Your Concrete Floor To Receive Stain

Posted on: 16 May 2017

Concrete has been used for decades to build foundations and garage floors, and many homeowners are now seeing the advantages of using concrete for the floors in the home. If you want a more modern look, then concrete stains are also a good choice. If you are thinking about staining, then you should know that concrete preparation is extremely important. Keep reading to find out why and also how to complete the preparation.

Why Is Preparation Important?

Concrete preparation is important before stain is added because most stains interact chemically with the lime in the concrete. This is true of acid stains that are made up of water, acid, and metallic salts. The acids in the stain penetrate deep into the surface of the concrete and allow the colored metallic salts to bond with the concrete. This creates a permanent and translucent color with natural gradation across the floor. 

If you fail to prepare and clean the concrete before the stain is applied, then the acid and the metallic salts will not penetrate the surface of the concrete. This will create areas where the color does not stick and you will notice bare spots or an uneven pattern on your floor. If, for example, oil slicks are left on the concrete, then this can create a very noticeable and unappealing mark on the floor. 

Since stains chemically interact with the concrete and create patterns and variation in relation to the chemical reaction, it can be virtually impossible to restore a floor once the stain has been applied. This means that the mark, discoloration, or bare spot will remain.

How Do You Prepare The Floor?

Preparing a concrete floor to receive stain means cleaning and thoroughly degreasing it. Start by removing loose debris by vacuuming the floor. Afterwards, mop the concrete with warm water and dish soap. The soap should be able to remove general dirt stains as well as some oil and grease that may have accumulated on the surface. 

Rinse the floor once you are done mopping it, and then mix a degreasing paste. Purchase a container of trisodium phosphate powder. Mix about two cups of the powder with one cup of water. Add enough water to create a thick paste. Afterwards, spread the paste across the floor and allow it to sit for 30 minutes. Rinse the trisodium phosphate away afterwards. You can also use a wet mop to soak up the cleaner and any released grease. 

Once the decreasing has been completed, look for any dark stains that remain on the floor. If you see one, then you may need to complete chemical stripping to remove the substance. This can be dangerous, so contact a concrete contractor, like Jimenez Concrete Inc., to help you with this.